Sheriff Edwards has summer safety tips for parents
From the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office
HAMMOND, LA --- Sheriff encourages Summer Safety Tips
With schools officially dismissed for the summer, Sheriff Edwards and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office want to encourage parents to go over the following general safety tips with their children:
If home alone, never open the door or talk to anyone.
If someone calls, don't tell them you are home alone.
Do not talk with strangers online or give out personal information such as your address.
Designate a neighbor to call should something go wrong.
Always ask permission before going somewhere, and go with a friend, never alone.
Never accept anything from someone without a parent or guardian's permission.
Never be afraid to say "NO" and "GET AWAY" from any person making them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused.
These days, it’s smart to think twice before opening your door to a stranger. “It’s time we refrain from the automatic response of answering a door,” says Sheriff Edwards. “You don’t have to answer the door, however, it’s best to make it known that you are home,” he continued.
What should you do instead? If you get an unexpected knock on the door and do not recognize the person, do not open the door. Speak to the person through the door and tell them directly, "I am not interested in anything you are offering. Please move on." Not everyone knocking at that door is someone with good intentions. Also, if you are home alone, it doesn't mean you have to reveal that to the stranger at your door. Talk to an imaginary person and say, "Just a moment. Let me see who is at my door. I'm not expecting anyone else today." Let aggressive strangers know that you are home, you have a visitor and you have no intention of opening the door to them, or continuing a conversation with them.
Should you call the police? What if they persist? What if they don't 'move on'? Yes. Call your local law enforcement agency or 911 to make a report if you feel threatened, you think they are suspicious, or they do not leave your doorstep when you ask. Also, let them know you are calling the authorities.
In addition to these basic safety tips, we strongly encourage parents to closely monitor their children's online activity and have discussions with them about sexual predators posing online as someone they aren't, such as another kid with similar interests. These predators may try to convince kids to send information such as their addresses, along with inappropriate photographs and videos," said Sheriff Edwards.
"I also would like to remind residents to sign up for our free Offender Watch Program. By going to our website, www.tpso.org, residents can click on the Sex Offender tab to enter the address of their home, sitter, parks, swimming pool, and any other addresses their child frequents. If a publicly registered sex, drug or violent offender lives or moves into an area of up to two miles from that address, our office will send an email notification," concluded Sheriff Edwards.